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how do I get a deeper bassier tone out of my SJ style geet??

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by re-animator, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    I've got a vintage gem yamaha southern jumbo style acoustic (fg-300)... hummingbird, dove, songwriter deluxe etc.

    I just procured this guitar off craigslist and its GREAT for fingerpicking and pretty decent for folksy stuff, but I want to make it just a little more responsive with bass and and just a deeper overall tone. My current theory is to raise the very low action... the geet has an adjustable bridge (which is pretty cool, if not quirky)... so would raising the action make the guitar a little bit louder and boomier??? still want to keep it with a gibson vibe, but a little bit of a bigger sound.


    is raising the action a good idea?? what other options do I have to open up the sound a little bit?
     
  2. devinb

    devinb Member

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    I'm always after the deepest sounds I can get, Snake Oil Brand strings (101's) are a big help.
     
  3. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    Try adding some relief to the neck, which will also raise the action slightly.
     
  4. exhaust_49

    exhaust_49 Member

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    My guitar is made of maple b/s with a sitica top. Every guitar responds differently to different strings. You've just got to try a bunch of different sets to see what works for you. My favourite string is D'Addario flat tops (med). Of every string I've tried, they give me the warmest tone.

    I raised my bridge about 1 1/2 years ago and it definatly helped the tone. It got a bit woodier and louder. It will make the strings tighter and harder to play but I think the trade off is worth it.
     
  5. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    cool... i just recorded a little bit with the yammie and the recorded tone sounded a lot better than the acoustic tone. I think raising the action is still the way to go, but i'll also try loosening the neck pressure.
     
  6. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    thought you could use some pics :)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. JohnSS

    JohnSS Member

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    Using medium gauge phosphor bronze strings will also be bassier and less bright than 80/20 bronze or other mixes. The greater amount of brass, the brighter the string (wound).
     
  8. kev

    kev Member

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    This may just be me, but another thing to try is just changing out the type/size of pick you are using - or no pick at all.

    I use 2.0mm picks most days for that very reason.
     
  9. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    Switching up a gauge on the strings (for example light .012 to medium .013) will get more sustain and the tone will change but it depends on the instrument. Higher tension seems to bring more life into the sound, and the action will be raised a bit, too, so you can really wail away if volume is what you're after. If it's a shift in the tonal balance towards bass, then I agree that you should experiment with different types of strings.
     
  10. gtrst

    gtrst Member

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    I agree with the tonal balance shift toward bass, but be aware of the fact that some guitars get louder and more vibrant with heavier gauges, but sometimes it sounds more compressed with more tension on top. Try different gauges, and you'll find out which gauge suits your guitar the most. My guitars ususally go well with .012", but I had some delicate guitars that suits 011 better (Much more open sounding). .013 wouldn't be my choice unless I get a shorter scale (say 24 7/8) guitar I guess. : )

    Find the string that goes well with your guitar. : )
     
  11. Steve Gambrell

    Steve Gambrell Member

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    It'll cost, but ALL of those adjustable bridges are tone killers. Get a new bridge made, with a fixed bone saddle, put a set of .013's on there, and listen to the difference.
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    +1, but you can go cheaper by having a wider bone saddle made for the bridge that's on there. it it's super-wide like some gibsons, have a regular thickness saddle made with wood spacers on either side to fill the slot.

    an old yamaha may not be worth a new bridge, but could be worth a nice bone saddle.
     
  13. Steve Gambrell

    Steve Gambrell Member

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    Didn't think about that, but of course you're right. Don't you love pulling that adjustable mess out of a Gibson bridge, and seeing the wreck where the adjustment screws bored into the wood? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING????
     
  14. 73171

    73171 Member

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    Try a set of Martin Silk and Steel strings...........
     
  15. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    yeah, definitely will be changing the bridge... anybody know how much something like this costs??
     
  16. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    In my opinion changing the bridge of a guitar is pretty much like a brain transplant: you can end up with something very different sounding from what you had, and it's hard to predict what the end result will sound like. And any decent luthier will charge at least a few hundred bucks to do it. It's been a long time since I had major surgery on any of my guitars, but my guesstimate is that we're talking something like $200-$400, if not more, to do it right.

    If you aren't that happy with your guitar's bass response, you may want to consider selling it and getting one that sounds better to you.
     
  17. chris77

    chris77 Member

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    I have a taylo 410 ce L3 with the ES systen when I bought it I loved the clarity but longed for lows. SO....I bought a fishman cleartone saddle. It was so worth it. Not expensive at all and all I had to do was file it to fit. Automatic improvement. added the low definition I was seeking without changing the voicing of the amp. Now if your acoustic has a peizo then I am not sure how it would effect the tone but I could only imagine that it would make it better!!!
     
  18. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    all of these ideas will add a little life to the guitar, but ultimately a guitar's volume and low end come down to the body itself, and a particular acoustic guitar is what it is. a great old gibson will be deep, loud and bassy with an adjustable tune-o-matic les paul bridge (!) and 20 year old tapewound strings(!!!) i know, i've heard it.

    if your guitar is anemic, you will eventually have to grit your teeth and get something else.
     
  19. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    a little update.... found a very cool tech who has done this sort of thing before.

    the plan is that he's gonna pull out the saddles, then rout the bridge and fill it with some rosewood filler, then drop in new saddles. Bridge stays the same, saddles switch to a bone piece.

    good idea??
     
  20. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it's worth a shot.
     

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